Emery County EMS Op-Ed

Less of an Op-Ed, more of a Fact-Editorial.

On September 1, 2015, there was an Editor’s Note in the Emery County Progress that gave a short history of EMS in the county, along with a list of concerns and a list of possible solutions. It also noted that there had been a severe decline in EMTs in the county, trainings were few to nonexistent, and that there were holes in the on-call schedule.

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) had a rule that stated paid-volunteers over a certain amount of hours were considered full-time employees and were required to be offered insurance or pay a penalty. With the variableness of hours of on-call time the Commission felt that it was not a good use of the taxpayer’s money to pay these penalties, and we had a deadline on when those penalties were to be implemented.

With these concerns in mind, the Commissioners focused on finding a solution. Continue reading Emery County EMS Op-Ed

Before you Dig

I recently attended a meeting regarding pipeline safety. When I think of pipeline safety I usually think of gas lines, but there are water lines, electric lines, telecommunications, sewer, reclaimed water, etc.

We also think that calling 811 is for large projects but it’s even for digging for fence posts, a mailbox or even a tree. The service is free, just call a couple of days before you do any digging. You can call or go online at bluestakes.org to set up a ticket. When you do the utilities will be alerted and they should be out within 48 hours to mark if there is their utility running along your property. If you do hit, damage, cut or punture a line call 911 as soon as possible. Stay safe.

Below is a color code for things that might come up that is in the ground.


In our county when we think of mining we think coal. It’s only right that we do. Coal lights, powers and heats our homes and businesses.

In this issue of Mining Focus I was reminded of all the other good things that come from mining. There were two articles, one that focused on Thanksgiving and the other on Christmas and I wanted to summarize and share some of the information that they had.

From the Thanksgiving article it said that we should be thankful to mining for providing:

  • Wiring in our home providing electricity.
  • Metal used to build appliances in kitchen
  • Metal ductwork in homes
  • Nails, drywall, cement driveways.

Continue reading Mining

Economic Development

Jordan Leonard, the Economic Development Director for the county, is doing a good job working grow and expand local businesses and working to bring in other businesses to diversify the economy in the county. Below is a press release that he just put out on what he has been working on.

Economic vitality for Emery County.

When we talk about economic development there a few things that we work on in our office. If we focus on the following areas, we will have a bright future for 2017 and beyond:

  • Support Entrepreneurs
  • Support Local Business First
  • Retain and Grow Local Business
  • Help Start New Businesses
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Support Agriculture
  • Visitor Amenities
  • Rural and Geotourism

Continue reading Economic Development

Letter from Senator Hinkins

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you all had an enjoyable Thanksgiving!

I am very grateful that you have given me the privilege to continue serving as a State Senator and I appreciate your support.

This month we came together once again at the Capitol for our final Interim meetings before the next General Session. Here are a few of the highlights:

Special Session

HB 4001 Solid Waste Amendments

In the last General Session, the Legislature passed a Solid Waste Amendments bill that clarified a couple definitions of terms. However, the EPA opposed the bill after it passed and so the governor vetoed the bill, but promised to bring it back in a Special Session, if a compromise could be reached. The bill that was brought back to the Senate for consideration excludes facilities that process scrap metal from the definition of “Solid Waste Management Facility”. The bill passed both chambers and will now return to the Governor for his signature. Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins

Commissioners Report 11-15-16

November 15, 2016

veterans-dayVeterans Day

I had a great opportunity to attend two ceremonies paying tribute to our Veterans. I appreciate the opportunity I had to speak at one of them. Veterans deserve our respect for their service and sacrifice to our nation and the world in fighting for liberty and freedom.

To read a little bit more on the Castle Dale Program go to Emery County Progress

USU-E recently held a Business Conference who’s keynote speaker was Mike Turner from Utah Honor Flight. Honor Flight sends veterans to DC to see the memorials built in their honor. Many for those who wouldn’t be able to make it on their own, physically, monetarily or otherwise. For those interested in this you can go to utahhonorflight.org.

Temple Mountain Goblin Valley SRMA
Click for pdf version (12M)

Opportunity to Comment

The Price BLM office is seeking comments from the public on the proposed Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). Comments for the scoping period will be accepted from November 4, 2016 through December 4, 2016.

They have already held two scoping meetings, one in Green River and the other in Castle Dale. Continue reading Commissioners Report 11-15-16


I recently had the opportunity to witness first hand the lockdown drills that our Emery County Sheriff’s Office (SO) conducts on a yearly basis with all the schools in our county. They meet ahead of time to plan and clear (the guns so they are not hot). They tape the guns with red electrical tape to show that the gun has been checked and cleared. In their lockdowns the SO invites other agencies. In the lockdowns in Green River some from the Highway Patrol were there. The SO recently started adding “bad guys” into the scenarios with their lockdowns. For the one at Book Cliff Elementary there was an unarmed perpetrator that the SO had to find by systematically clearing the building. In Green River they introduced two perps and both armed. Continue reading Lockdown

Letter from Senator Hinkins

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last week we held our monthly Interim meetings at the Capitol. It seems like we just ended last session and yet we now only have one interim day left until the next General Session. My how the time flies!

Here are some of the highlights from the meetings I attended:

Interim Highlights

Fiscal Health Check-up

Our budget forecasters in our Legislative Fiscal Analyst Office are exceptionally good at what they do. This year they accurately projected the State of Utah’s 2016 revenue collections. This is a big deal because the projections are what help to inform the legislature as we plan for the budget each session, and the more accurate our projections, the sounder our budget. Utah ended Fiscal Year 2016 with $18.7 million unspent. Our General Rainy Day Reserves are up 1.7% from last year. We are in a good place financially. Listen to the Fiscal Health Check-Up here. Continue reading Letter from Senator Hinkins

Commissioners Report 10-4-16

October 4, 2016

First, a quick thank you to the road department for keeping up on the roads through these summer rains and floods. We have had numerous people thank us for the quality of the roads so we wanted to pass that on.

Utah Heroin and Opioid Summit

The big take away from this summit is that opioid prescriptions are a problem that are leading to addiction, heroin use and overdose. Some might not be familiar with what an opioid is. Opioids are commonly used medications that relieve pain. Medications that fall within the opioid class include hydrocodone (e.g., Vicodin), oxycodone (e.g., OxyContin, Percocet), morphine (e.g., Kadian, Avinza), codeine, etc. You can become addicted in as little as three days.

If you have a doctor prescribing you medication that is an opioid for pain after an accident or surgery, I would encourage you to be cautious and ask if there is another medication you could take for your pain. In conversations with Sheriff Funk he says that in Emery County we don’t necessarily have a heroin problem, we have a problem of abuse of prescription opioids.

img_5021If there is an overdose Naloxone or Narcan can save a life. It is a drug that basically wipes the opiates off the nerve receptors in the brain, thereby reviving basic functions of the body, breathing and heart beating. It is said to be safe to use on a 4 month old and older. If there is an overdose and it is not opioid related it will not help nor harm the individual. To learn more click on the link below.

Continue reading Commissioners Report 10-4-16

Chaffetz Office Rural Update October 2016


This is not an official statement from Representative Chaffetz. It is an update of things that he and his office are working on and want to make his constituents aware of.

Please accept our apologies for the delay in providing you with this update. The month of August was very busy as we were touring the district and holding meetings with many of you. September proved to be just as busy with Congress back in session. Here are a few highlights:


  • August 29: Congressman Chaffetz held a meeting with high-ranking officials from the Department of Energy (DOE) at the Moab Uranium Tailings Cleanup Project and urged the Department to fully fund the Project. It is very frustrating that Congress appropriates money to fully fund the project but instead the Department uses those funds to increase the Washington DC Headquarters budget by 90 percent. The Congressman is committed to correcting this behavior within DOE.
  • September 13: In light of the Congressman’s amendment to increase funds for Indian School Bus routes, the Congressman held a meeting with officials from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and San Juan County Commissioner, Rebecca Benally. Together, we urged BIA to live up to their commitment to properly fund these roads so the children can get to school. This issue remains one of our top priorities in any end of year spending package.

Continue reading Chaffetz Office Rural Update October 2016